The Board of Regents conducted their monthly meeting virtually on Monday, January 10th, 2022.
The meeting began with the approval of an amendment formally cancelling the administration of the January 2022 Regents Exams. The amendment includes exemption from the diploma and endorsement requirements associated with the exams for all eligible students.
The amendment extends an option for parents to decline the exemption to graduation assessment requirements for any year that the exams have been cancelled. Parents have the choice to decline the exemption if they wish students to remain in school and complete the assessments in the future. Schools are required to notify parents of their option to decline prior to the end of the semester in which students are due to receive their diploma.
More detailed information on the amendment is included in the link below.
During the discussion following the presentation of the proposed amendment, Regent Roger Tilles recommended that the Board act as soon as possible in deciding whether June exams will be administered, even as early as the February Board meeting. Regent Frances Wills agreed that an early decision would allow schools time to develop plans for alternative assessment options such as Capstone Projects and Project Based Learning assessments.
Commissioner Rosa responded that there are many factors that need to be considered with regards to cancelling the June exams, and that the Board must be diligent with exploring all options. She went on to emphasize that, at this point, the June and August Regents are still scheduled to be administered and schools should plan accordingly.
The Board was updated on Regional Meetings that are taking place across the state regarding the Graduation Measures Initiative. NYSED Assistant Commissioner for Public Affairs, Emily DeSantis, reviewed the list of the most recent stakeholder sessions that have taken place over the last two months. It is anticipated that the remaining meetings will be completed in early February and that a final analysis of the feedback gathered from all Regional Meetings will be presented to the Board of Regents in the Fall 2022.
Assistant Commissioner DeSantis also presented an overview and demonstration of the Thought Exchange Discussion Management System that is being utilized in meetings to gather feedback, and analyze data. The online system organizes, records, and rates confidential responses to open ended questions, creates a data dashboard of participants demographics, and calculates response frequencies relating to a variety of factors.
Below is a link to the Graduation Measures presentation including specific examples on how the Thought Exchange software organizes data.
The Board approved an emergency measure which eliminates the requirement that candidates enrolled in registered school district leader (SDL) and school district business leader (SDBL) programs must pass the SDL and SDBL assessments for program completion. The amendment also eliminates the requirement that educational leader candidates who are enrolled in a transitional D program must pass the SDL assessment.
Laura Glass, Coordinator for Education Programs in the Office of Teaching Initiatives, explained that the measure is an effort to move toward consistency with the recently enacted changes to teacher certification requirements.
At the December 2021 Board of Regents meeting, the Board adopted regulatory amendments eliminating the required 50 clock hours of Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) credit for candidates seeking to obtain a reissuance of a certificate. Candidates are still required to pass the certificate exam in the required area within one year before or after the application date of the reissuance.
During the 60-day public comment period, the Board received feedback regarding an inconsistency with the amendment that affects candidates who had received the Emergency COVID-19 Reissuance, which is valid for two years. The Office of Higher Ed learned that several candidates with the Emergency COVID-19 Reissuance certificate had taken the certification exam more than one year after the Reissuance Application was submitted, but within the two-year validity period of their Emergency COVID-19 certificate.
The Board approved an amendment that, for holders of the Emergency COVID-19 certificate, candidates are allowed to take the required certification exam during the two period when the Emergency certificate is valid.
More specific details regarding to the amendment are provided in the link below.
After approving the amendment, several Board members commended the Office of Higher Education for their recent efforts in re-examining certification pathways and removing some of the discouraging barriers which have been very frustrating for prospective teachers and educational leaders seeking certification. Chancellor Young expressed the need to make teaching a profession that young people want to pursue by continuing to re-examine the reasons why more young people are not pursuing careers in education.